Words matter because they reveal our heart and impact others. This passage from James highlights the power of our speech, because on small part of our body (the tongue) can do great damage if not held in check. “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
Download these free lesson plans and teaching activities to use in your children’s ministry or Sunday School. The first two lessons include the sermon, craft and coloring pages listed below.
This message emphasizes to kids the importance of using speech wisely. Children experience the impact that words can have, but they don’t always stop to think before they speak or consider how their words will impact others. This message reminds students that the things we say can be a helpful tool or a harmful weapon. Words do have lasting effects for good or for bad. We want to encourage our young people to use their mouths to glorify God and to lift up those around them.
The tongue can be a tremendous tool…or a deadly weapon! It might seem simple enough, but our words have powerful impact. It’s important to teach young children that our words carry weight, and we want to use them wisely. These crafts remind students to think before speaking and to use kind words that build others up and glorify God. A “tongues in cheek envelope” offers ideas for using speech well. A “two-tongued puppet” warns of the dangers of harmful words. And a fun “open-mouths snacktivity” provides a fun edible craft to enjoy!
Bible Story Video
James 3:1-12 ESV
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.